Communications experts have said P&O’s decision to fire staff was”devoid of decency” and an example of”tearing up the PR handbook and flushing every page down the toilet”.
Public relations agency chiefs told City A.M. over the weekend that the way in which P&0 let staff go could give government authorities more of a free hand to take more draconian action, knowing they might have public sympathy.
Nick King, the founder of Henham Strategy and a former senior government advisor, said P&0 and owners P World needed to take a more”conciliatory tone” sooner rather than later.”
No longer gagging their former staff, honouring the pension deficit which they have built up and engaging properly with government should be the very least they aim for;King said.And Nick Faith, the director of fellow agency WPI Strategy, decried the firm’s communications strategy.”
The single biggest failure is the absence of any apparent leadership at the top of the company. P&O’s brand is tarnished,” Faith told City A.M.